Most people know that car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries across the United States. Even when you can account for your own safe driving and doing regular maintenance on your vehicle, you cannot account for other people's behavior and could end up injured as a result of their negligence. Injuries, however, are just one example of outcomes of vehicle accidents. It can be devastating to learn that you have recently lost a loved one because of someone else's preventable and negligent behavior in a vehicle accident.
This leads many people to wonder about the percentage of car accidents that are fatal. The percentage of car accidents that are fatal is a statistic that is reported on on a regular basis. These numbers are calculated at the state level to illustrate the percentage of car accidents that are fatal, and legislators and other safety experts use this information to propose new policies or responses to the rising numbers of accidents.
2019 Data on Fatal Crashes
The most recent year for which data has been calculated on a state by state basis for the percentage of accidents that are fatal is 2019. In that year there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle accidents that led to over 36,000 fatalities. That fatality rate per 100,000 individuals ranged to 25.4 per 100,000 people in Wyoming to 3.3 in the District of Columbia. When looked at on a miles travelled basis, the death rate per 100 million miles travelled ranged from 1.73 in South Carolina to 0.51 in Massachusetts.
Fatal accidents can be caused by many types of reckless behavior, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, or aggressive driving. It can be hard to tell the story of how the accident happened if you were not there. That is true for many family members who were more worried about getting their loved one medical treatment or caring for their immediate end of life needs, but knowing that you have a wrongful death lawyer to help you can make a big difference in these early steps for your lawsuit.
Road Usage Type
Another way to look at the percentage of accidents that are fatal is to consider the types of vehicles involved. For example, Vermont was home to the highest percentage of deaths involving car passengers at 45% but had a very low percentage of deaths involving pickups and SUVs at 21%. On the other side of the spectrum, Alaska had the highest percentage of deaths involving pickup and SUV occupants at 48% but had a low percentage of deaths involving car occupants.
Three states tied for the highest percentage of crash fatalities involving bicyclists. Those states were New York, Florida, and Delaware. Accidents can and do happen anywhere, but it is important to be aware of the possibility of being hurt in a vehicle accident. Having appropriate car insurance on your vehicle and carrying health insurance so that you can get accident treatment immediately can help you in these situations, but it can often be very difficult to adjust to life after someone has caused you to suffer in a devastating vehicle accident.
When it comes to crash types, over 53% of motor vehicle fatalities in 2019 involved solo vehicles. This is especially interesting because most people think of car accidents as involving two or more vehicles, but single vehicle crashes are a leading cause of fatalities. The state of Maine had the highest percentage of fatalities in single vehicle accidents at 68%. Single vehicle accidents can include someone running into stationary objects like guardrails on the side of the road.